The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Trustees to vote on media council

By Michael McFall , News Editor

After years of debate, a final decision about the future of student media might be reached at the U Board of Trustees’ meeting Tuesday.

Three years ago, U President Michael Young requested that a task force figure out what direction student media should go and appointed Ann Darling, chairwoman of the communication department, to lead it. The task force recommended merging the Publications Council, which oversees student publications, and the Student Broadcast Council, which oversees KUTE, as well as the creation of a public relations agency. The Board of Trustees approved a $1.68 per semester fee increase last spring to fund the result, the Student Media Council.

The board is scheduled to vote on the merger during its Tuesday meeting.

Drafting the merger was met with heated contention from U student media, particularly about a controversial new position known as the student media advocate, which would have created an administrative presence.

Essentially, the advocate would have been a liaison

between student media and the U administration. Although rules would have prevented the advocate from controlling student media, professional journalists working at downtown news agencies and members of the The Daily Utah Chronicle were concerned the position would impede a free voice of journalism.

Proposal drafters eventually cut the position.

Even if the board votes for the merger, it will not go into effect until Summer Semester. It seems as though the Publications Council will stay as it is through the end of the academic year, said Board of Trustees secretary Rebecca Riley in an e-mail to the council, which oversees all student publications on campus.

“We need to select students (for the new council) and find out who’s interested,” said Randy Dryer, chairman of the board. “We can’t just create it and immediately fill it.”

If the board votes for the merger, it is also scheduled to revise the University Policy code to reflect the merge between student print and broadcast media on campus.

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